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Electroacupuncture attenuates cognition impairment via anti-neuroinflammation in an Alzheimer’s disease animal model

2019.12.13.

Mudan Cai et al., Journal of Neuroinflammation, 2019

Summary

Current study investigated the electroacupuncture (EA)-induced molecular mechanisms causing cognitive improvement and anti-inflammatory activity in 5XFAD mice, a transgenic animal model of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Mice were bilaterally treated with EA three times per week for 2 weeks, thereafter Y-maze tests, western blots, immunohistochemistry, and PET scans were performed. Results revealed that EA treatment significantly improved working memory and synaptic plasticity, activated cell metabolism in the frontal cortex and the hypothalamus, concomitantly reduced neuroinflammation, ultrastructural degradation of synapses, and the microglia-mediated amyloid β deposition.

Results from nanoScan PET/CT

For the PET/CT studies, 7.4MBq 18F-FDG was intravenously injected via the tail vein to the following treatment groups: a) non-transgenic (non-Tg), b) 5XFAD (Tg) and c) EA-treated 5XFAD (Tg+KI3). After 60min uptake period, 30min long PET acquisitions were performed. Data were reconstructed with Tera-Tomo 3D reconstruction method. For quantitative analysis regions of interest were drawn into the frontal cortex, cortex, hippocampus, and hypothalamus and standardized uptake values (SUV) were evaluated to determine the effect of EA treatment on brain metabolism.

Result revealed that:

  • EA stimulation caused a 1.1-fold increase in the mean glucose level of the frontal cortex, which is related to short-term and working memory showing that it improves cognitive functions
  • The hypothalamus, which is related to energy metabolism, exhibited a 1.1-fold decreased glucose metabolism in Tg mice compared to non-Tg mice, and this effect was fully reversed in EA-treated Tg mice proving that it modulates the abnormal hypothalamic metabolism related to the amyloid pathology in AD mice

Full article on jneuroinflammation.biomedcentral.com

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